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  • perm2gc
    08-11 11:52 AM
    In February, Dobbs asked a guest on his show: "The fact is that we are seeing hundreds of jobs being outsourced on the basis purely of a corporation's interest in achieving the lowest possible price for labor. Does that make sense to you?" Later on the same show, he declared, "Corporate America and U.S. multinationals are shipping jobs for only one reason, not for greater productivity, not for efficiencies, those are purely code words for cheaper labor costs."

    Dobbs even asks viewers to send him the names of companies that outsource. He then posts the list (scroll down) on his CNN website, under the heading, "These are U.S. companies either sending American jobs overseas, or choosing to employ cheap overseas labor, instead of American workers."

    "The results of this issue are crucial to the kind of country we live in," Dobbs told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in April.

    But there comes a time when Dobbs takes off his anti-outsourcing hat. That's when he switches from financial journalist to investment advisor-for-hire, peddling a monthly newsletter containing his investment recommendations. Pony up $398 and you receive Dobbs' investment tips for two years. You'll recognize some of the companies that Dobbs recommends. That's because they're on his list of firms that are "exporting America" by shutting down U.S. operations and opening overseas facilities.

    The Lou Dobbs Money Letter is published by Phillips International Inc., which is associated with Eagle Publishing, a leading publisher of conservative-themed books. In each issue, Dobbs singles out one favored company, in which he encourages subscribers to invest. He conducts an invariably softball interview with the firm's CEO, which allows both Dobbs and his guest to tout the company's prospects.

    Unlike most investment advisors, Dobbs goes beyond talking up the earning potential of these companies. He typically goes out of his way to praise them as good corporate citizens. The newsletter keeps a running tally of the companies profiled, under the heading, "The following companies have been featured in the Lou Dobbs Money Letter as those 'doing good business with good people.'" The appeal is alluring: You're not just buying a smart investment choice, you're buying a piece of good citizenship.

    Dobbs devoted a column in the March issue to touting the prospects of the Minnesota-based Toro Company, which makes outdoor landscaping-maintenance equipment. He told subscribers that Toro was a "long-term wealth-builder," and praised Toro's "formal code of ethics, something I think is sorely needed at more of America's companies," and its "...exemplary corporate governance structure, which aligns the interests of shareholders, employees, and customers." He concluded his interview with Toro CEO Kendrick Melrose by frankly telling him, "I like the way you treat your shareholders, employees, and customers."

    One wonders whether Dobbs' admiration extends to Toro's 2002 decision to move 15% of its workforce -- about 800 jobs -- to Juarez, Mexico. Indeed, CEO Kendrick Melrose might be interested to know that Toro appears on Dobbs' own list of companies that are "exporting America."

    And Toro is not alone. Of the 14 companies Dobbs has highlighted for investors since starting his newsletter last year, eight appear on his CNN website as companies that outsource jobs.

    Greenpoint Financial is another company that's received conflicting treatment from Dobbs. CEO Tom Johnson enjoyed the Dobbs interview treatment in June 2003. Dobbs promised readers, "I think you'll find Tom's comments and the way he runs his business thought-provoking and insightful."

    Apparently one of the "thought-provoking and insightful" methods that Dobbs was referring to was not the 2002 decision by Greenpoint to export much of its mortgage and customer-service operations to Bangalore, India, a move that produced significant savings, but that cost 150 U.S. workers their jobs. Greenpoint Mortgage, a subsidiary of Greenpoint Financial, appears on Dobbs' list of outsourcers.

    When Dobbs features a company in his newsletter, he tends to stand by them, no matter what information subsequently comes to light. In December 2003, Boeing CEO Phil Condit was forced to resign amidst an ethics scandal. Dobbs had interviewed Condit for the newsletter back in June, and wrote at the time: "Boeing ranks Number 35 on Fortune's list of most admired companies. I think Phil has a lot to do with that."

    After Condit's resignation, Dobbs ran a "Special Boeing Update" in the December edition of the newsletter, in which he told subscribers: "In the face of adversity, the company is being up-front and honest abut its problems...Boeing has just proven that its priorities are in the right place."

    But according to the Communications Workers of America (CWA), Boeing has sent 5000 U.S. jobs overseas in recent years. And Dobbs' assurances that Boeing's priorities are in the right place don't seem to square with his inclusion of the company on the "exporting America" list.

    Similarly, in November 2003, Dobbs called Bank One chief Jamie Dimon "a conscientious CEO," who "runs a tight ship with solid corporate values."

    Late last year, Bank One announced plans to merge with JP Morgan-Chase and Co., which has a reputation for shipping jobs overseas. In another special update, Dobbs reassured his readers that, "[Dimon's] ability to orchestrate this merger and have it viewed as a positive move by a testament to the fact that Jamie did it for all the right reasons. As a numbers guy, Jamie knows what works and what doesn't. And I'm confident he's going to do some remarkable work in the coming months."

    Again, Dobbs neglected to tell readers that Bank One is on his "exporting America" list. According to a company spokesman, Bank One has outsourced two to three hundred jobs -- mostly in software development -- to India in the last few years.

    The list goes on. In May 2003 Dobbs talked up Washington Mutual to investors. According to the CWA, the banking services giant has sent 30 jobs overseas. Washington Mutual appears on Dobbs' CNN list of outsourcers.

    In August 2003, Dobbs promoted Office Depot, telling investors that, "[T]he company and CEO Bruce Nelson believe strongly in making Office Depot a 'compelling place to work, shop, and invest.'" Sure enough, Office Depot is on Dobb's list of companies that are "outsourcing America."

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  • spicy_guy
    09-19 07:53 PM
    they are taking social security, medicare taxes. while we are not getting any benefit out of it. they must stop taking social. they are taking this taxes based on that they will give us permanent status. now they have delayed process near to impossible for EB-3.
    Intent of social security and medicare is to support social security benefits, but when they are not granting any of this benefit they should stop taking it from us or should make green card processing faster.
    they should clarify this situation since they are taking money from us.
    hetal shah

    You will reap the benefits when you retire. Not now

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  • unitednations
    07-08 06:10 PM

    The outstanding questions, i guess, are:

    They allotted the visa numbers prior to actual approvals. This contravened their clearly stated policy. In fact the ombudsman mentions this policy and suggests change. If they allotted the numbers prematurely, and are still in the process of approving those petitions and sending out the decisions...should the numbers have remained current UNTIL THE LAST PETITION IS APPROVED?

    ---------------------this is an age old problem for uscis. If when a case is filed and they allocate a visa to it; then there would be a massive amount of visas that would go unused. A 2006 visa number cannot spill over to 2007 because the carryover effect is not available. If a person is stuck in name check, didn't get fingerprints; case got denied and is in appeal then that visa would be lost forever if it didn't get approved by the end of the fiscal year; and someone else wouldn't be able to file. You would only have forward movement of visa dates until beginning of next fiscal year when they release visas and then they could move them back to let other people file who just got their labors approved or follow to join, etc.

    ---------------------the current administration is fond of re-defining many things in law; they have re-defined torture; geneva conventions; bill of rights; even though those laws have not changed.

    ----------------------now they are re-defining the visa bulletin. Look back at June 2005; when eb3 visas went unavailable for july; they still allowed people to file until end of june. When October 2005 visa bulletin came out and eb2 india went back to 1998 they had used up all the visas by september but still allowed filing. When eb2 india went unavailable in August 2006 they still allowed people to file in July 2006.

    ----------------------therefore, the law hasn't changed but they have re-defined it. I haven't met anyone yet who actually had their case approved on the week-end. Just knowing systems the way I know them; they probably aren't allowed to do transactions on week-ends or holidays. Therefore, whatever happens on the week-end could have happened on the friday or the following monday. It will be interesting to see how many people actually get their greencard and it says "permanent reident since.... June 29, 30 or July 1".

    ----------------------the stakes were big enough for uscis that they were willing to re-define how they look at things. Hundreds of millions or billions of dollars would have been a big enough stake for uscis/dos to re-define the relevant laws/regulations and long standing process. Interesting thing is how would things have changed if the actual fee strcture went into affect on July 2. Maybe uscis wouldn't have been so overzealous in approving cases at lightning speeds.

    One could argue that per USCIS policy and stated process the visa numbers are still available till that day- a petition could be rejected at the last moment- sending a number back to the pool....

    the other question is- did they allot >81% of the numbers (27% per quarter) even before the fourth quarter began? Can they allot numbers on sunday while not accepting applications that day because they are "closed" thus denying petitioners from getting in while the numbers are current?

    i would be surprised if they went over the country cap- they have treated that as religion of late.

    ===============they definitely went over the country cap. EB1 ROW and EB2 row have never been retrogressed and eb3 row was retrogressed in June itself.

    the dates for india/china will only move after EB3 ROW becomes current. any ideas how far that is?

    ===============I was surpirsed myself in the perm labor filings. There is actually a very high number of cases filed by ROW people. ROW people will always get preference. 2007 ROW priority date in eb3 would get preference over the 2,802 person from india even if that person's date is 2003.

    see answers within text.

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  • Macaca
    03-13 08:25 PM
    Some paras from Minuteman Project In Turmoil Over Financial Allegations ( Fight Splits Border Group

    The Minuteman Project, an anti-illegal-immigrant organization that has monitored the southern border, is embroiled in a nasty legal fight over accusations of financial improprieties that has splintered the group and probably will sideline it during the busiest time of the year for border crossing.

    This crisis has put us in a tailspin," Gilchrist said in an interview. The organization had planned to mobilize members in coming weeks when Congress again takes up immigration legislation, he said, but it has canceled its plans because he is busy dealing with legal issues.

    The dispute centers on $750,000 in donations raised for the Minuteman Project by HSP Direct, a now-defunct Herndon direct-mail firm hired by Gilchrist. After the company deducted expenses, the project received about $100,000.

    This is not the first time the group has fractured. The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps has operated separately from the Minuteman Project since December 2005, after a bitter internal dispute over funding.

    Both groups organize volunteers to monitor the U.S.-Mexico border and report suspected illegal immigrants to authorities. Both lobby legislators to close the border and enforce existing laws.
    Some paras from Minuteman Project in Leadership Blowup (

    Gilchrist and other activists upset at what they perceived as a lack of action on the part of Congress began patrolling the Mexican border in Arizona in 2005 using cars, trucks, private planes and night-vision goggles. The effort drew criticism even from some conservatives including President Bush, who called participants "vigilantes."

    The Minuteman Project struck a nerve, however, and now has about 200 spin-off groups around the U.S.


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  • rongch60
    07-14 02:40 AM
    To be honest, do you think that a petition from 1 category from 1 country will change the way USCIS interpret the spillover rule? No way! Currently, the highest priority is to make sure that USCIS use up all visa numbers. Any waste will hurt both EB2 and EB3. EB3 petition will create confusion on the bills, waste times from USCIS, and potentially took advantage by anti-immigrant groups to stop spillover. Is there any law that clear stated the cross-country spillover? Please stop the fight and not take the risk of losing all cross-country spillover!

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  • dixie
    07-16 12:38 PM
    If you go to anti-H1-b sites, They are displaying things like, Advertisements listing H1-b available for a number of US cities. These are ads taken from body shops. The anti-h1-b sites use this as a propaganda. I think it hurts all of us. :D

    Exactly.Anti-H1B sites are only looking for propaganda material. You think they will start loving us if all body-shops are eliminated ? People like Norm matloff and programmers guild oppose all H1-B period.Whether it is from well known MNCs or your so-called "body shops". These are usually the same folks whining against outsourcing, free trade, the fact that everyone else is catching up .. about the world in general. Stop wasting time convincing these loosers.They are neither representative of the american public at large nor are the body shops representative of our community. If you think body shoppers are the only folks who hire H1-Bs, read about all the press articles in the "IV in the news" section and please let me know how many body-shop employees were mentioned there. We KNOW we make a contribution to this country; industry knows it too. We dont need to apologise to people like PG,lou dobbs and co for supposedly "eating their lunch".

    As for pushing for H1-B reform, there is absolutely no gaurantee there will be any accompaying GC reform. Remember AC21 ? it tripled the number of H1-Bs with no increase in GCs ... the result is the current mess. Why did it happen ? because there was no one pushing for GC reform.


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  • aadimanav
    07-13 09:35 PM
    Version 2 of the "Petition to Recapture Lost Visas" is added here:

    Please share your views.


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  • hpandey
    06-26 02:47 PM
    If you buy - and take a mortgate - you end up losing (the same way you "lose" your rent)
    1. Interest you pay
    2. Property taxes you will pay forever.
    3. Maintenance you will pay forever.

    On the other hand - if you rent and,
    A. IF you pay less in rent than #1 + #2 + #3,
    B. IF you invest the remainder plus your mortgage principal amount in some other investment vehicle with superior investment returns than real estate.
    .... Then you will come out ahead renting.

    The tipping point is whether your rent equals interest + property taxes + maintenance. Based on which side is higher - either renting or buying could be good for you. I don't think there is a clear cut answer. This does not take into account the flexibility associated with renting - which is important for non-GC holders. If you assign a non-zero dollar value of $X with that flexibility, then your rent needs to be interest + tax + maintanance + $X to get to the tipping point. On the other hand, if you are not forced to save (in the form of mortgage principal payment every month) - you may just spend that money instead of investing that. If you assign a dollar value of $Y with that (probability multiplied by actual dollar value) - then the tipping point is at
    $rent = $interest + $tax + $maintenance + $X(dollar value for flexibility) - $Y(dollar value for probability of spending money instead of saving).

    Now as soon as you plug in the numbers in this equation - it will give you your tipping point and will tell you whether it is right for you to rent or to buy.

    Think about it. It is not as clear cut as you think it is. :-) Based on your earlier posts - you got an absolutely faboulous deal on your house (maybe because of your timing) and the tipping point equation would probably highly favor buying in your case. For many other (specially for those without a GC) - it may not be so clear cut.

    Yes its not clear cut but lets replace your X, Y and others with numbers

    Suppose your rent is 1500$ a month

    You pay 540,000 $ in 30 years

    so your point 1 - the interest payment is always going to be less than rent if you look over the 30 year term of mortgage since there is no way to pay 540,000 dollars in interest in 30 years looking at the amortization table unless you are buying a million dollar plus house. ( I assumed 5 % rate of interest )

    2. Property taxes - these we write off from our income which again becomes pointless more or less

    3. Maintainence - Now that is a personal thing - I lived in rented apartments for many years until last year end - The property admins don't replace things on demand - so you have to live with the same old appliances , carpets etc etc until they really die off since no one is going to replace them on demand . Things break so many times as they reach the end of their life and you call the property office each time and so on.

    I would rather that I maintain my own things and have best of the market stuff rather than not.

    Some people might say there are rented places where they have top of the line stuff but remember that the rent goes higher too. So that negates that point.

    And coming to what you say in the end - my mortgage is the same as I paid for rent so renting doesn't make any sense to me. The only thing is that if I have to move back to India I will have to sell the house which I am not worried about since I live in a very good area and two houses in my lane got sold within a month last month at more than the price which I paid for my house.

    As someone said real estate is highly local. Not all places in US are losing values . There are a lot of good areas which have reached bottom. The house I bought was 20% off from the price the person whom I bought it from paid in 2005. So that is already priced in.


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  • vdixit
    03-24 04:31 PM
    Bought a house, sold it. Changed jobs, moved cities, planning to buy a new house.
    I dont think renting (flushing money down the landlords toilet) is a wise idea if you plan to live in this country for a long time.
    Go for it. PLan these things according to your family's needs.

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  • riva2005
    04-08 11:43 PM
    Again, IEEE went out of its way to get extra H1Bs for US-educated students. That alone wipes out your arguments because these H1Bs are for foreigners and these people sure will increase competition for people born here. IEEE is not only for meaningful reform, they have the power to do what they want.

    Just because they have a position paper and a pdf file saying that they support US educated immigrants doesnt mean they do that.

    If IEEE-USA really cared about US educated students, they would have put in a provision to raise the cap for US masters degree holders from 20,000 to 40,000. Did they do that in this bill? NO.

    What created the 20,000 H1B visas for US educated students is lobbying by US universities. They saw a drop in student enrollment due to shortage of H1 visas in 2002 and 2003. Read the bureau of Immigration stats report to verify that drop in F1 visa demand from India and China in the early 2000s. Now its back up.

    Ron Hira and IEEE-USA have systematically worked for nearly 10 years to eliminate H1B program. However, they are doing it in a way that makes them look like reasonable people and helps them mask their xenophobic and protectionist attitude.

    This bill has been pretty much authored by xenophobes of IEEE-USA. If you look at the IEEE-USA website and what Sen. Grassley has been saying over the years, it has an uncanny similarity. Last year, IEEE-USA's insistence caused Sen. Grassley to put amendment in Jud committee to remove the provision of EAD for L1 spouses. Look at IEEE-USA's website and you will find remarkably similar material. Whether it was a justified and fair amendment, its a different issue.

    Lately, IEEE-USA has been against H1B employees who go back to India and China. Some time ago, they were saying "When does temporary end and permenant begin"...meaning, what part of "Temporary" do H1B "temporary non-immigrant" workers do not understand. They were against H1B employees becoming permenant by seeking Greencards and wanted them to go back after 6 years.

    Then they started opposing people who come here and go back because that is supposed to facilitate outsourcing. And IEEE-USA, like Lou Dobbs, hates outsourcing. So now they are unhappy even if H1B workers come here for 3-6 years and go back.

    So in a nutshell, they(IEEE-USA) are against H1B employees if they :

    1. Come here and stay here on GC.
    2. Come here and go back.
    3. Never come here but work for US companies and enable outsourcing.

    So the people who oppose all 3 of the RON HIRA of IEEE-USA basically does not want us to exist in hi-tech work. Probably they would want all Indian and Chinese engineers to work in fields and pick cotton.

    Similary, Chuck Grassley has no problem with giving amnesty to illegals if they are agricultural workers. But in general he doesnt want too much immigration. So immigration is fine, as long as the brown people dont do white people's job. Immigration is good as long as brown people stick their brown asses in fieds picking cotton and stay away from that keyboard so that people like Ron Hira and his colleagues can get their 1990s back and write 4 lines of code per week and make $100,000 a year.

    Rimzhim, this whole public policy thing is really not your cup of tea. You go and stick to whatever it is that you are doing and let the core group handle this issue. This elitist attitude of "I am masters, I am Ph.D" is splinting apart this organization and you are too obtuse to understand the twisted ways of IEEE-USA.


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  • SunnySurya
    12-18 10:45 AM
    Right, And u must the the enlightened one. And what do you mean by science: physics, chemistry , math or biology or theology

    Is there a difference between god and a religion. I have heard lots of bulls saying " religions are ways to get to the same god" . If that was true then preachers of Islam would not have preached to convert every one to Islam by force or otherwise.

    They would not have preached the following:
    -- In other words, there is no god but Allah (implying gods of Jews, Christians, Hindus etc do not matter)
    -- Meaning : Those who disbelieve, and die while they are disbelievers; on them is the curse of Allah and of angels and of all mankind.
    Now, because I don't share your "ideas" you want me to be cursed. What kind of God will do that.

    Allaha has 100 names including the names like Saboor (99th), Rasheed (98th), Waris (97th) etc. But where are the names of the Gods that others beleive in.

    You are saying all this out of sheer ignorance and you yourself dont know what you are speaking about your own creator. If you know little science you will go away from religion, if you know more science, you will come towards religion. You are a victim of the former.

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  • gomirage
    06-08 06:41 PM
    Your common sense tells you to abandon your GC because it is taking too long? Then with your defeatist mentality, you should leave the country now. In case you didn't read a word of what I said, the interest you pay is tax deductible.

    What is the difference if you had your GC or not? If you had it would you still be renting? The ONE and ONLY reason I would ever rent is if it was a rent stabilised apartment in a good location in Manhattan, or when I am saving up enough money to buy.

    You are a genius. Actually it's been a while now since since I left and I am glad and had the defeatist mentality to build a better life for myself and my family elsewhere.

    For a genius, you should better. Just because you are on this forum, doesn't mean you are in the US, lol.

    I have been member of this community and like to discuss with ex fellow GC seekers. You don't know the difference between GC or not ? Let me explain it to you, genius. With a GC you know that you are legaly entitled to stay permanently, at least until you commit something to have it revoked. Without GC, when your time is up, you have to pack and leave. Get it ? or is it STILL too complicated for you, genius ?

    Wonder how can someone suffer after GC and still doesn't know the difference.


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  • hiralal
    06-05 10:55 PM
    I have done lot of research and come up with calculations ..please note ..I am renting now but am also a potential home buyer ..only the GC is preventing me from buying.
    both have its advantages and dis renting, I save a lot and I spend that money more freely (eating out more frequently, wife is not under pressure to work, kids in summer camps, fully funding retirement etc). kids have more friends, playdates etc etc. also the flexibility and peace of mind that renting gives me (and my family) is priceless in this environment. similarly owning has its own pleasures and others maybe able to write better on that.
    my point is only from timing point of view and from financial perspective ..home is huge investment and if prices are still falling then it makes sense to wait ..the reason being if prices fall an additional 10 - 15% in your area then you may lose 30 - 40K in one year (which is almost 2 - 3 years of savings for better paid guys). on top of it if you lose job and H1/EAD gets cancelled then you are FINISHED.
    here is the article that I mentioned ..also note 3% appreciation was past (slightlly more than rate of inflation) will take years to even come there
    one of the adjustable variables is home appreciation. The default level is 3% a year, meaning the $300,000 home would be worth $309,000 after one year, $318,270 after two years and so forth.

    Reduce that figure to 1% and the break even period jumps to 4.8 years. At 0% it's 7.2 years.

    These days, 0% appreciation is not all that bad. The calculator won't take a negative number, but it's easy to imagine what would happen if, for example, prices were to drop by 5% a year for three years, then resume a 3% annual increase. Your home would lose about 15% of its value in three years and would then take five more to get back to where you started, a total of eight years.

    With appreciation continuing at 3% it would take another 2.5 years to break even once commissions, taxes and other factors were taken into account. So it probably wouldn't pay to buy this home unless you expected to stay there for more than 10.5 years.

    But there's no doubt that periods of low home-price appreciation or falling home values dramatically undermine any financial benefits of owning over renting.

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  • BondJ
    05-16 05:54 PM
    Looks like, the letter sent out to India based business houses by the US senators has surprised the Commerce minister of India, Kamalnath. He is going take this up with US in the global trade meet at Brussels.


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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-08 11:46 PM
    Good one!!!

    I thought the first blonde joke was really very funny - Helloooooooo :)

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  • Macaca
    05-18 05:23 PM
    Although some of the dissidents were arrested for their involvement with social media, those outlets also have served as a balm, as families facing repression from the government try to contact the outside world. When human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong was arrested in February, his wife, Jin Bianling, opened a Twitter account to record her efforts to get information as to his whereabouts, counting the days of his detention online to a crowd of several thousand followers. (Jiang returned home two weeks ago, but is under surveillance, and the couple declined requests for press interviews to keep a low profile.)

    Twitter isn't a medium known for its depth of emotion, but it was undeniably heart-rending when Jin described a conversation with her 8-year-old daughter one evening not long after Jiang's arrest. "Mommy," Jin recorded the child saying. "We shouldn't think about daddy much. You told me when I sneeze, it is a sign that someone is thinking about me. If we make daddy sneeze where he is now, he might be in even more pain."

    What Next for Ai Weiwei? ( By Jason Miks | The Diplomat
    Rebuilding a United Front on China Rights
    The U.S. and European Union can push for human rights protections in China if they work together again. (
    By KELLEY CURRIE | Wall Street Journal
    The rebel who suffers for art: Ai Weiwei ( By Uma Nair | Times of India
    Inside China ( By Miles Yu | The Washington Times


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  • Macaca
    05-25 08:17 PM
    Cleaning Up Congress ( The House gives lobbying reform a boost, but the battle is far from over, Friday, May 25, 2007

    IT WASN'T EASY, it wasn't pretty and the battle isn't over, but the House managed yesterday to pass a credible ethics bill that would require lobbyists to disclose the bundles of campaign checks they round up for lawmakers. The lopsided 382 to 37 vote belied the ferocious behind-the-scenes opposition to the bundling provision. Few lawmakers were willing to cast a public vote to oppose letting their constituents know what the lawmakers themselves are already keenly aware of: just how much they are indebted to which lobbyists. In private, however, many Democrats fought to prevent the vote. It was only the steadfastness of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.) that brought the measure to the floor. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) served a key role in offsetting the opposition of some members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

    It's critical now that the bundling provision not be killed in the quiet of a conference committee. The Senate version of lobbying reform contains a slightly different bundling provision, which can easily be reconciled with the House measure.

    Other provisions of the bill approved by the House yesterday would provide for more frequent and detailed disclosure, including lobbyists' contributions to lawmakers' charities. To win support for the bundling amendment, reformers had to abandon their effort to double, from one year to two, the cooling-off period for lawmakers and staff who leave the Hill for lobbying jobs. The Senate-passed lobbying bill includes this effort to slow the revolving door. That, too, should be part of the final package. In addition, the work of the House will not be complete until a credible ethics process is in place, one that includes an independent office to assess and investigate allegations of unethical conduct. A Pelosi-appointed task force is expected to come up with a proposal soon. That will be the Democratic majority's next test.

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  • inspectorfox
    03-23 03:23 AM
    Immigration uncertainties should not be a reason for not buying a house in the US. In my opinion it�s always best to buy a house considering it as a long term investment � You will eventually build equity even though the present US housing market is in doldrums.

    I played the housing game differently to minimize the risks associated with my present immigration scenario (I am on 8th year H1B with I140 pending since Oct 2006)...
    1) I did not buy an expensive place even though I could easily qualify for $500K mortgage.
    2) I put only 3% down payment on my mortgage instead of conventional 20%. It was a difficult decision to make due to PMI but I feel more secure with cash liquidity.

    I am an optimistic person but here is my realistic backup strategy if anything falls apart due to immigration (Worse case scenario) -

    1) Sell the house and move out of the US (Housing market conditions could be a determining factor)
    2) Rent the house (I don't think this should be a problem... LOCATION is the key)
    3) Go into Foreclosure (Highly unlikely but you are destined to be screwed anyways)

    Does anyone have a better backup plan? Please share here :)

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  • unseenguy
    06-23 04:17 PM
    ca_immigrant, you have brought up good points and the sophisticated rent vs buy calculators are available online for free which anyone can run math in 10 mins. Rents are holding steady in CA, so calculations might play a bit differently in CA.

    First of all, 5% is not available today for 30 yr fixed, its more like 5.25%. Another attractive option could be 5 year ARM or 7 year ARM if you can make additional payments for the principal, it will significantly bring down the principal amount owed at the end of first 5 years if you make CONSISTENT (per month) additional payments.

    I live in WA, I searched MLS & zillow for recently sold homes, most homes are going for 15-20% less than owner asked priced. Avg 3 bedroom house price here is 500K.

    1. I do not qualify for tax rebate offered this year due to income level restrictions (spouse works)
    2. Rents in Seattle have fallen steeply. Last year (aug), I was searching for apartment, I was offered at 1600 or 1700. The same apartment is now going for 1450. Some have fallen more steeply upto 1200 of the same class. I can get a very good/posh 2 bedroom apt for 1050 USD per month in today's date if I move out 5 miles more. It was unthinkable in seattle area 1 yr back.

    As you said, monthly payment on a 500 K house comes to around 2750 USD, thats true even in seattle. Thats 1750 USD more than the rent or atleast 1500 USD more than the rent.

    The gamble would be to stay in 1050 rent house for 2 more years and save bigger nest for downpayment. And prepare for the prices to fall more. say 25% more.

    Even if I offer current owners 20% less , the math does not make sense for me. Hence I am expecting 30% -35% correction from current expectations of the owners.

    Dont get me wrong, the owners would still be making a profit on homes constructed before 2003 even if there were 30% more correction.

    One thing we all know for sure is , home prices are not about to go up spectacularly. Maybe 30-40 K up in 2 years from now. When you are thinking of 10-20 year deals, thats not a lot, its peanuts :)

    As of now, I am thinking of buying a nice car instead of a house, since I can talk down car owners equally and since my GC is in geopardy, buying a car for now makes better sense. :)

    As someone said we should consider luxury of a house. I have rented one townhome for 1500 a month for which my neighbour is making 2800 USD payment, go figure :)

    05-16 12:41 AM
    Law is giving them to right for their unfair practice. So congress is trying to fix the law. Most of them may be abiding law but using unfair practice which affects many people. So there is nothing wrong in fixing the law. Actually they should have applied H1b whenever they need. But they applied H1b for 1 or 2 years so that they will find a job later whereas companies which are having immediate requirement could not find H1b. Is this right practice though 100% legal

    If congress so concerned about outsourcing to India or some other country , why dont they ban outsourcing completely by american companies. I think one of biggest user of outsourcing is US army that is directly controlled by U.S congress. :D

    01-07 10:52 PM
    See the link. Palestine TV teaches the kids to be a terrorist. Through micky mouse.

    See this poor boy.

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